Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Shadow is Settled In

I've just finished stitching Shadow's resting place together to make a rectangular coverlet.  As mentioned previously, after she passed the artist was no longer around to make a box for her ashes.  Each day I'd walk past Shadow's ashes would make a promise to her for a suitable cover.

When Shadow was alive we (uh, I) said she was meant to be a wide cut girl.  And so she was.  Here is a picture of her profile hooked in #8 and the cover for her ashes box.  The Shadow Memorial profile is hanging in this computer room so took a picture with the ashes box in here too.  However, Shadow rests in my bedroom.  Paw prints were hooked on the other 3 sides of the cover.  Rest in peace Shadow....miss you.
I'm slowly working on my son's Man Cave rug (to be a Christmas gift) and may show you an update tomorrow.  Have pulled about half yard of wool to over dye and add to what has been scrounged up and married to make a background for that rug.  I was determined to have a dirty blue wool background.  Time will tell if my plans work or not...so stay tuned.

And THEN...... MUST start working on a rug for mama....Moi, to keep me happy.  It will be a Magdalena design ~ dear Magdalena.  If she only knew when she was alive just how much inspiration for primitive rugs she gave so many who love her designs.

Welcome to my new followers, it makes my heart happy when I see someone join.  IF anyone has requests on something you'd like to see me post about, has a question, hey, all newbies have questions because I WAS a newbie.  So to contact me just click on the profile link and my e-mail address is there.  Or, to make it easier tonight, you can click HERE

Have a great evening everyone.  There are signs of spring all over my yard so spring really is on it's way.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Different Hit and Miss Borders

A loyal reader asked me about hit and miss borders (thank you Kim), I was going to just send these pictures to her but realized other readers might like to read this information too.  Not that I'm any expert, but to show you what I've done in the past with those pesky hit and miss borders.

This was the very first hit and miss border done on my very first rug camp rug after learning to hook.  It is a Charco design called Heritage.  On this one I used short strips of all of the colors inside the design.
This may have been my second hit and miss border and think it works well even tho the entire rug is somewhat busy.  It is a Bev Conway design called Speckled Hens. 
Below has some blocks with hit and miss and other blocks filled in with a solid color.  That is a great way to do a hit and miss border if you'd like a little variety.  This was a free pattern insert in a former Rug Hooking Magazine named Jack and designed by Barb Carroll.
Another design by Woolley Fox named Henny Penny has the hit and miss just at the ends as you can see.
 Another hit and miss border has a couple rows hooked of the same color side by side instead of just one hooked row of a color.  Two Chicks is a design by Polly Minick.
Below is an adaptation of an antique I hooked and sold.  This one I've considered hooking again and would do those gorgeous roosters as close to this as possible but would probably do other border and background differently.  Don't think I'd make the background blotchy but a little more subtle.
This also has a hit and miss but using textures.  The rug is washed out since the picture was taken with a flash.  It is a design by, guess who..... Woolley Fox called Woodland Deer.
And finally, the circle mat I hooked which, again has the hit and miss using textures.  BTW, this was a great mat to hook which used up a LOT of worms from my baggies.
Hope some of these may help when you contemplate doing some sort of a hit and miss border.  Have a fantastic week.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking at Old Rugs

Just shy of two months I'll attend yet another delightful rug camp at Woolley Fox with Barb Carroll.  There are two patterns which I can/might take for the class.  One is a Woolley Fox pattern called NED and the other is a moose design by Bev Conway.    But, old rugs still call my name and I'm checking to see if there might be something else to take instead.

Strangely enough, I saw this CHUM rug and wonder if it could be what goes with me to Barb's.  It even looks like it may have been hooked by the same woman who hooked the original NED ~ check out the similarities in hooking style and color choices.
Here is the original Ned:
This is obviously a very old and very used hooked rug of an eagle.

This floral is from the Textile Museum of Canada and a nice primitive design.  I've hooked a few florals and was over it...but this one could draw me back since it is so na├»ve, old looking and makes me think of a watercolor painting when looking at it.
An antique hit and miss heart with animals and date March 1931.

Oval within a rectangle.
From Northeast Auctions found this rug and the colors are soothing to me.  Not so sure how old it is but there is some wear and tear around the edges.  Like the colors.
Old dog rugs often showed an exaggerated mouth and guess the red and white is supposed to be the top teeth, the tongue and then bottom teeth.  Yeah, I know they weren't artists, neither am I, but perhaps that was how they saw and hooked their animals.   One question I'm going to ask Barb at camp (if I can remember in two months) is why antique rugs with dogs and horses were often hooked with red at the tail and feet.
One day I want to hook the Three Bears.  Although there's not going to be any more grandchildren here, just might make it for me.  I've seen plenty of hooked versions but this antique happens to be owned by Barb Carroll.
Below is an interesting rug and rather detailed and not too worn for an antique. 
You see this messy blurred and faded Moose rug below.... it haunts me.  Every time I scroll thru my compilation of antique rugs this one makes me pause and stare.  I'm sure all of you are scratching your head as to why and frankly can't explain it myself ~ there's just something that captivates me.
Hey, it's Friday.  It was in the 70s yesterday and today it was in the 40s.  Tonight we'll get snow flurries and IF the fog leaves and the sky is open to clear things out we might wake up to single digits on Sunday.    SPRING?  Was yesterday all there was of spring?  Bet we go straight from heat one week and the next week to A/C.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spring Toward Easter

Well at least it felt spring-like today but tomorrow and the rest of the week will be different.  However, Mr. Cotton Tail is bound and on my sofa table along with a primitive bunny and my grandson's photo.
For those of you who would want a closer look at the rug, here it is.  If interested in hooking your own it is a design by With Thy Needle and Thread, called "Mr. Cotton Tail". 

Thank goodness I'm all caught up on my binding tasks.  Yes, the last few have been small projects but still so easy for me to put those on the back burner too. 

Worked a bit more on Shadow girl's jacket for her box of ashes and when assembled will take a picture.  Just hooked one of the paw prints today so still 3 more sides to hook.

Have a great evening and hope spring is closer to you than it is to us here in Delaware.  We are several degrees below where normal is for this time of year.  Okay, maybe not today but tomorrow we will be maybe 20 degrees below normal once again.  Hey, as long as it isn't snowing (uh, we might get some of that too).  Oh well, eventually June temps will be here I'm sure.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New On The Frame

Mr. Cotton Tail still isn't totally bound as I always drag my feet when it comes to binding.  Besides, it isn't Easter yet, and for that matter doesn't really feel like spring either so it will be ready for those events when they happen.

After Cotton Tail was hooked, was definitely ready with two designs ready to go on my frame to not be a frenzied hot mess wanting something to hook.  So I chose the smallest size design, but the biggest in importance.  This will be a tall rectangular vessel to hold my Shadow girl's ashes. 
My two previous Rotties (Shumba and Panzer) each had a special box made by a local artisan and each painted with a profile of the dogs.  Unfortunately after Shadow passed, that artisan was not around to make a box for her.  So finally, mom has gotten around to take care of her girl.  Each time I'd walk by her ashes I'd think about her unsettling. 

The textured background wool in the piece above might look familiar as it was also used in part of Shadow's memorial rug (below).  In all honesty it was used only because I'd run out of over dyed wool at camp, started using the texture at camp so continued once getting home.  Shadow was hooked in #8 cut.  She still looks beautiful to me using 'as is' textured or over dyed special wool for a special girl.  Miss you Shadow girl.
This will be an easy, comfortable and wonderful hooking project.  There's no getting bored on this one.

Losing a beloved pet is a terrible heartbreak.  I empathize with all of you and your loss.  As much as I miss Shadow wondered why I'd put myself thru it again by adopting my boy Ben.  That heartbreak will happen again but he gives me such joy every day and he makes me smile.....sometimes laugh out loud.

Hope you have a great evening.



Tuesday, March 24, 2015


THIS ~ Hooking is my favorite activity and am totally disappointed if unable to hook even one day.  The pattern design and color palate has to be something to my liking and all are hooked for my pleasure with the intent to be used in my home.  With the exception of this rug designed for my son as a Christmas gift for the addition he is building on his home....obviously one is a game room.
It is a good thing I started pulling loops on this immediately, I know me; I'd have looked at it in October and say to myself, "nah, don't feeling hooking it after all".  But guess what.....now I'm running out of steam or interest, whatever.  Just surveyed the background wool that was married and some just didn't tone down enough so am wondering if there will be too much contrast in the background.  But heck, seems like I'm quitting before breaking into a good sweat. 

Guess it is time to put it aside for a week or so.  Maybe I just need a break since just hooking the last row of balls in the last day and already bored so finding excuses.  Not to worry, I won't quit and knew that was a reason for starting early.

THAT ~ Tonight I'll finish binding Mr. Cotton Tail.  Yup, have drawn out my next project but don't have wool pulled for it yet.  And, I've done a sketch for a hooked rectangular vessel to hold my Shadow girl's ashes but not on linen yet.  After my last two Rotties passed (Shumba and Panzer) I had a local artisan make a box and paint their profiles on the box with their life dates.  The artist is no longer here so Shadow has no decorative box to celebrate her life.  She will have one soon tho.

AND the OTHER THING ~  While driving in the car with a talk radio show was listening to 'dirt doctor' who has a web site by the same name.  Someone had called about clothes eating moths.  We all know about washing our wool, not introducing used wool into the group until it is washed.  We also know about lavender, cedar, etc.

Hey, I have a LOT of wool.  There is no way that I pull out all my wool, unfold it, flip it over, take it outside in the sunshine, etc.  So was interested in what this man had to say.  He said there were clothes moth tents which could be used to attract moths.  I've read it only attracts the males and not the female egg layers but hey, that would mean less males to help make eggs, right?

Even tho I have Sweet Annie in my wool room as well as lavender, I just purchased this product.  There are other brands out there and was tempted by several.  But since there was a deal with a spray as well as the hanging tents thought I'd go for this.
Indoor Insect, Safer® Brand Clothes Moth Kit, B57107270
In the event any of you would like to err on the side of caution and spend a couple bucks, click HERE for the link.

Hope you have a great evening.


Sunday, March 22, 2015

Small Pieces are Wunnerful

While I've never hooked a room size rug, I have hooked somewhat larger pieces than the ones you've seen me post of late.  But it is great to do a small mat sometimes.  What makes it best is when time comes to bind the dang thing as it is a small 'thang' to bind.  This 14 x 14 guy is done and I'm in the process of binding it now.  Finished picture coming later.
And the Magdalena crow I showed you the other day is already on my sofa table.  So there's something great to say for small pieces.

Since I'm busy binding Mr. Cotton Tail tonight will show you the finished piece later AND tomorrow I plan to work on my son's rug before moving on to 'the next rug on my frame". 

Hope everyone has a great evening and all have signs of SPRING in their yards and hearts.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Glad I Waited to Decide

Remember the two Crow pieces I was hooking?  One was a Crow design by Betsy Reed and the other was my design of a Magdalena-style crow.  Plan originally was to make both into pillows but once Betsy's design was made into a pillow decided to wait to do the other.  Here's Betsy's Crow with the wonderful Betsy primitive edging I love so much.
Am glad I waited because now I want to enjoy the second one on the sofa table in the living room.  Here is a photo taken on the schoolmaster desk but once bound will go in the living room.
Since this may be a transitional decision, have chosen to do a different binding job than normal.  A month from now might change my mind and make it into a pillow after all; so for now I'm just folding over the serged edges of the linen and will use it without a cotton or whipped edge binding.  In the event I decide to make it into a pillow all I have to do is pull out the stitching.  OR..... IF I decide to keep it as a mat just might do that Betsy primitive binding technique I love so much.  So many ideas and not sure what to do but am glad I waited to decide.
On this first day of spring we had snow and below normal temperatures.  Weatherman promises a better day tomorrow.

Have a great evening everyone and enjoy your weekend.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Mr. Cotton Tail Update

Worked a tad more on Mr. Cotton Tail, a Brenda Gervais design, and think he will be ready to display and enjoy before Easter.  Am also hoping he will be the incentive for me to clean up wool dust bunnies. 
All of the flowers, stems, jacket, backpack, grass, and most of the border have been selected from my worm baggies.  I did cut the tan check for the bunny and some primitive black to go with the other black leftovers.  But hey, I use a LOT of primitive black since that is my 'go to' background since it really makes colors pop.

Oh, I forgot to mention the dimensions of my Mr. Cotton Tail is 14" x 14".  Some time ago when this needle punch pattern was purchased from With Thy Needle and Thread I asked if there was permission to enlarge her NP designs and hook them and was given permission.  Sometimes you ask a designer and they say no so I leave those designs alone since there's already so much eye candy out there to enjoy and hook.

AND..... guess what!!!!!!!  There will not be another 'panic attack' with nothing on my frame when he is done.  I've already enlarged and drawn out an antique adaptation which is ready to throw on the frame in a millisecond.  Will share that in a future post.

Lately I've had a few new gals write me with typical newbie questions which ALL of US had when we began.  Just to let you newbie readers know, it is okay for you to write me and I'll try to help. 

I'm not claiming to be an expert and will only give you my thoughts based on my experience.  You could ask 10 seasoned hookers the same question and you may get a few same but also some different answers.  Frankly I learn something new each time I'm around hookers and going to camps.  We are never done learning but know too it is a struggle when newbies start out..... I WAS A NEWBIE TOO.

Had the HVAC guy here today AGAIN. for the new furnace which also had to have a new blower installed...remember that?  Something came loose in the new blower so it sounded like a lid on a pot of boiling water flopping up and down.  Yes, had heat but could not sleep last night because of the racket. 

I'd just gone to bed when the furnace came on; there was no TV playing, only heat.  Ben went wacko barking since he thought someone was trying to break into the house.  Knowing what it was I coaxed him into the bedroom and closed the door.  Even then, each time the blower came on for the furnace I could hear it in the bedroom the other end of the house.

Uh, you do remember me saying this was my NEW FURNACE, right?  The one which needed a new blower installed after only 3 weeks old?    And now this issue.  Is the word LEMON coming to mind? 

Hope everyone has a great evening and my hope for me is that I get a great night's sleep and no more issues with a new paid for furnace.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Tip and My Hooking Issue

First, for all you Irish lads and lasses, Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!  My heritage is German and English but I've been known to celebrate St. Patty's Day a time or two.

Now for the tip.....I have odd pieces of linen left over from patterns I sell and immediately serge the edges so they don't unravel.  Some people buy them when I go to rug camps, some people have ordered them from me knowing I sell varying sizes of serged linens.  But most of all I look thru my stack to see what can be used for my project without having to cut into yardage.

There happened to be an almost perfect size linen with at least a 3" margin all around to hook my son's Man Cave rug....almost.  So when that happens I sew on a wide piece of cotton fabric to ensure it would stay on my frame and have the comfort of hooking up to the border line.  I use the longest stitch on the sewing machine so the cotton can be easily removed and used again.  Oh my and has the cotton been used over and over.  So try to remember there IS a remedy for having a too narrow excess linen margin. 
Now my hooking issue.  Yup, all of a sudden I've become disenchanted with my son's rug and thank goodness it isn't needed until December 25th.  When designing the piece I made up my mind NO NARROW CUTS.

HA!  I'm using #8 on the balls and that used to be my favorite wide cut but now my favorites are #8.5 and #9.  So #8 is the lowest I wanted to go for the balls, knowing the numbers would have to be somewhat smaller. 

Moving right along here at a snail's pace....the balls were to be tilted at angles to look natural and was doing okay hooking the single digit and 11 ball with #6 cut.  But THEN came the 14 which took up too much space in the allotted circle area.  The result causing the white circle being bigger than the others and is also distorting the shape of the white ends. 

Thankfully I've another 9 months to give birth to this design for my son.  Tonight it will be tucked away to give me time to think on what my action plan is ~ plus the fact my grandson will be here after school for the rest of the week and don't want to give him a view of this to ask questions and ultimately give away the secret.  He knows his grandma doesn't have a pool table and knows his dad is building a game room. 

Have a great evening everyone and tomorrow will give you an update on Mr. Cotton Tail and I WILL be ready for the next rug on my frame before he is done.

Have a great evening, enjoy your St. Patty's Day.


Sunday, March 15, 2015

Yup, Time For a Rug Show

This is my usual 'go to' post when I don't want to bore you with just an update on the same stuff and don't have anything earth shaking to talk about.  Although I did marry some wool which will be the background for my son's rug.  That to be shared at a later day.

Since I can't remember which rugs I've shown previously there maybe some repeats here.  But hey, who minds looking at the same rugs?  The hooker of this rug some odd years ago also appreciated Van Gogh's artwork.
Thought this was very interesting with it's delicate flowers, detailed inside but with a primitive border.
When I look at antique rugs wonder why the hooker used the design or the colors.  This is a very basic design, yet it is attractive.  Very few colors and I like it. 
This rug below is from Cogswells Grant, a New England rug, according to what I've read
A farm scene.

A hooked dog and hooked horse with braided border.  But I'm thinking the one with the braided border isn't really an antique but a dang good job.

This is a comforting rug to look at.  Not sure I'd want to hook it but there is just something about antique rugs that is soothing.
Two swans rug and this one has the binding tape showing around the edge.

This is a New England Shirred rug but sadly don't think it is even all the rug photo I was able to catch.  Bet the whole thing is totally awesome.  Can't imagine how much time it took to make a rug like that. 
Enjoy what you have remaining of your weekend and hope fair spring like weather is coming your way (and my way) soon.


Saturday, March 14, 2015

Rain Rain GO Away.....

....come again ANOTHER day.  Like when all of us need it in August during a drought.  Before I show you a picture of my back wooded area thought I'd show you Mr. Cotton Tail.
As you can see the border decision was tan/gold.  Since the background is a primitive black anyway, the tan/gold border softens the piece and frames it nicely.  Yup, I like it and am a happy hooker.

Now my backyard.... I live in a low area, unfortunately.  The snow has melted and the rains began last night and then poured today.  During the rain I tried to capture the ducks which gathered and chose my spot to procreate but it was raining too hard to even see what kind of duck.  There were both Mallard pairs and Wood Ducks ~ beautiful specimens both. 

Anyway, this was my back woods yesterday when it wasn't raining. 
And a shot to the right of that area.
Just imagine what has accumulated back there since.  Yeah, the frogs singing enchanting songs to their mates and the ducks gathering is pretty.  But after this, when the heat begins to increase...... UH, guess what!  Yup, mosquito's.   I've not already warmed up here yet thinking about the future infestation.

Ben is whimpering like a baby wanting his "mommy".  He always wants to be in the same room as me and I figure if he wants to be with me SO BADLY then he will come to me in the computer room as he does frequently.

Have a good evening everyone. 


Friday, March 13, 2015

A Rug For My Son

Remember when I posted about my son building addition to his home and wanting to hook a wall hanging for him?  That prompted me to post some antique tavern signage on a previous post.  Problem was everything I looked at was something I would want.  Isn't that the way it is when you go gift shopping for a friend?  Everything you pick out is something you'd like.   Well this was no different and could my son relate to anything I wanted to hook for me?

Then I  had to shift gears and think what my son would like... he wouldn't want some artsy crows wearing a top hat and jacket, whales, etc.  but rather something manly man style.  He is a lineman by trade (think utility poles, restoring power after hurricanes, snow storms, etc.) 

Greg (my son) will have a pool table in his game room so pool balls became my focus for the design.  He and his buddies surely enjoy beer so that was an idea...... okey dokey then.... a design was being born. 

Yes, I'm still working on Mr. Cotton Tail but knew that unless I broke ground on this design for my son it might end up in a stack of unhooked patterns.  At least now it is started and I'll be more likely to return and finish it.  Sorry the visual is so zig zag on the foundation and hope you can see the design and what I've hooked so far.  If you click on the photos they will enlarge and is much easier on the eyes.
I'm using #8 cut for the balls but smaller worms for the numbers. Oh, and using worms wherever I can.  And it is interesting in the lessons learned at rug camps which can be used in the most unusual ways.
Last September at Cape May Ali Strebel taught us a really cool trick using needle felting in our work.  I used it in my Ali Katz rug and am using white roving to needle felt in the tiny areas around the numbers of the pool balls.  I hook one row of white wool in a circle but there are very small areas, like in the middle of the 8 as well as the 3 so that technique came in very handy.
Problem is I was too hasty in drawing the design.  Now I wish I'd drawn the beer mugs up a little higher.  While there is only a little difference, the picture below suits my eye better.  But don't think I want to super impose another mug drawing, even in another color ink, on top of what I've already drawn.  Besides, don't think my son would even notice that space above the mugs.
I thought about hooking the Ace of Hearts and Ace of Spades in those spaces but wanted to keep the design simple.  Also thought of hooking cue sticks but nixed that idea too.  Yet the rug doesn't need to be done until Christmas so perhaps I'll think of something to so the area doesn't look so blaah.
Have a great weekend everyone. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Outside Edge ~ Border Decision

Am slowly working on Mr. Cotton Tail  (a design by With Thy Needle & Thread) and as I was hooking the border wondered if perhaps the outside edge row should be replaced.  The top you can see mostly an old gold/brown outer edge and swags.  Then wondered if the outer edge were black would the piece looked more framed and make for a nicer mat so hooked a section on your left but that didn't seem to help me.

So decided to lay a piece of dark wool on top of what had already been hooked to see for myself without having to pull loops.  AH, first glance at this sent a 'like' signal to my brain.  Then when I scrolled up to look at the photo above am able to see that as a viable alternative as a border frame.  Oh my.... decisions decisions. 

In a class with Eric Sandberg I remember him saying, "hook what you know".   This has come in handy in many a scenario.  That comment or thought comes in handy when at a rug camp you have a question for a teacher but she or he hasn't yet made rounds full circle.  IF I hook what I do know it will give me something to do and accomplish more on my piece without interrupting a teacher with a student who also needs help.

With this bunny mat, I will continue to hook 'what I know', which is the whole inside, because once there is more accomplished inside that border decision might be easier to make.

As always, I welcome everyone's thoughts.  There's no right or wrong, just a matter of taste..... or as with the 'dress gone viral' a matter of blue and black or gold and white ~ a matter of what the eye sees.

Have a great evening and hope your snow is melting there as it is here.  However, that is causing yet another situation with flooding; particularly since now there are to be a couple days of rain.  This is what it looks like now.  A series of photos taken of my back yard and woods area.  That woods area is supposed to be dry but unfortunately I do live in a low lying area.  Hell, all of Delaware is a low lying, flat land area.  That white in the background is still now on top of unmelted ice.  Inside Ben's playground you can see muck because it is so full of water.
 Yup, more water.

So friends..... once the rain developes you might see future pictures.  After all, we here in Seaford have suffered TWO 100 year floods within 2 years of each other and hope this isn't the 3rd.  Bridges were washed out and travel to a local grocery store just one mile from me took forever to get to because of the detours due to flooding.  But guess as long as I have heat, running water, some hooking and Ben for comfort I'll be okay.

Have a great evening.